Michael Jackson’s Memorial Tickets Mayhem

July 5, 2009

Micheal performing on stage

Micheal performing on stage

 

THE 1.6 million Michael Jackson fans who entered the worldwide online lotto for a place at the dead superstar’s blockbuster memorial will learn today if they have won a ticket to the send-off.

The entertainer’s army of followers are already spoiling for a fight, accusing one another of making futile grabs for tickets.

“What a crazy situation. I have applied for tickets knowing full well I could not afford a flight,” wrote one fan on a global fan club website.

Another snapped back: “What is aggravating is so many people have registered knowing that they can’t go or may not be able to go. So now you’re registering and taking the chance away from fellow fans that can go.”

Only 8750 pairs of tickets will be handed out for the Wednesday event and officials have warned against scalping.

Organisers had limited tickets to US residents only, but yesterday opened the pool to fans worldwide.

Promoter AEG has been criticised for limiting access to memorial venue the Staples Centre in central LA during the show.

The event will be televised, but footage will not be shown on giant TV screens outside the centre.

“I don’t see why we can’t come down here and be part of it, it’s not fair,” said Jordi, 24, of Virginia.

Jennifer Hudson is expected to be among the performers at the event and Jackson’s friend Elizabeth Taylor has been tipped to read the eulogy.

Australian guitarist Orianthi Panagaris, 24, who had been part of his comeback tour show, will also play.

The Jackson family has yet to announce full details of the memorial.

Half a million mourners applied for a ticket to the event within seven hours of entries opening.

The memorial website attracted hits at a rate of 120,000 a second for the first 90 minutes.

Over the 32-hour window before registrations closed, 1.6 million people around the world entered the draw.

Winners will be selected at random by computer.

Organisers received 13,000 requests for media accreditation from news organisations around the world. Only 3000 will be allowed into the event.


Political Sarah Palin Gives Up

July 5, 2009
Palin quits politics

Palin quits politics

 
 

Sarah Palin has hinted she might take on a wider political role in the US, one day after abruptly announcing she was resigning as governor of Alaska.

“I am now looking ahead and how we can advance this country together,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

The former Republican vice-presidential candidate said earlier she would resign as Alaska governor on 26 July.

There have been speculation that she might be preparing to make a bid for the White House in 2012.

But the fact Mrs Palin did not reveal what she intended to do after leaving office, and did not give an explicit reason for her decision not to run for re-election, prompted speculation there might be another reason for her stepping down.

One report on NBC news suggested that Mrs Palin intended to get out of politics “for good”.

‘Proud’

In her Facebook posting, Mrs Palin said she urged Americans to “join me” in looking how “we can advance this country together with our values of less government intervention, greater energy independence, stronger national security, and much-needed fiscal restraint”.

Sourced from The BBC

 

WHO ‘declares swine flu pandemic’

June 11, 2009
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global flu pandemic after holding an emergency meeting, according to reports.

 

It means the swine flu virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world with rising cases being seen in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile.

The move does not necessarily mean the virus is causing more severe illness or more deaths.

The swine flu (H1N1) virus first emerged in Mexico in April.

It has since spread to 74 countries.

 

Official reports say there have been 28,000 cases globally and 141 deaths and figures are rising daily

It is the first flu pandemic in 40 years – the last in 1968 with Hong Kong flu killed about one million people.

The current pandemic seems to be moderate and causing mild illness in most people.

 

One factor which may have prompted the move to a level six pandemic was that in the southern hemisphere, the virus seems to be crowding out normal seasonal influenza.

It is thought the move was not prompted by the situation in any one country but the reports of several pockets of community spread.

 

There have been almost 800 cases in the UK with some areas of Scotland being particularly hard hit.

The government has been stockpiling antivirals such as Tamiflu and has ordered vaccine, some doses of which could be available by October.

 

Chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson said the WHO declaration of a pandemic would not significantly change the way the UK was dealing with swine flu at the moment.

But he added there could be some minor changes to who received antivirals.

 

“The declaration of a pandemic per se doesn’t make a big difference to the to the way we are handling the outbreaks we have.

“We are going to continue to investigate every case that occurs and treat their contacts with antivirals even though they may not be ill.

“The difference is that the Health Protection Agency has learnt a lot about approaching this question of antiviral prophylaxis and they are going to be treating the closer contacts of the cases, rather than the more far-flung contacts, because they feel that that is supported by what they know so far about how the disease is transmitting.

 

He added: “These flu viruses can change their pattern of attack, so when we come into the flu season in the autumn and winter in this country, when we expect a big surge of cases, we need to watch very carefully to see if the character of the virus is changing.”

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said a move to level six means that countries need to be ready to implement pandemic plans immediately but the UK was already operating at a “heightened state of readiness”.

 

But it could affect the speed at which the UK gets pandemic vaccine supplies but that had been factored into pandemic planning.

Flu expert Professor John Oxford, said people should not panic as the outbreak was milder than others seen in the past century.

 

“It is global and fulfilling the requirements of a pandemic but I don’t think anyone should worry because nothing drastic has happened between yesterday and today.”

 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad In Defeat Scare as Late Surge Gives Rival Hope

June 11, 2009

Bolanle Talabi.

LoveWorld Newsrooom.

An Ahmedinejad Supporter Waves A Poster At A Rally

An Ahmedinejad Supporter Waves A Poster At A Rally

Amidst the high wired elections fever, tensions flared in Tehran last night as thousands of protesters marched to the state television centre, enraged by the discovery that President Ahmadinejad was being given far more airtime than his opponents.

The demonstration came as a leading conservative accused reformists of fomenting a “velvet revolution”. Yadollah Javani, a leader of the hardline Revolutionary Guards, said that reformists were going to claim vote-rigging if their candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, loses in tomorrow’s presidential elections. He vowed to crush any post-election violence.

In another remarkable intervention, about 50 clerics from Qom, Iran’s religious nerve-centre, also rebuked Mr Ahmadinejad, stating in an open letter that “accusing people in a session when they are not present is contrary to our religion.” Such conduct would “spread disappointment among the people and make our enemies happy”.

These developments expose deep splits within a ruling establishment that never normally airs its disagreements in public and come on the eve of a landmark election in which Mr Mousavi, a relative moderate, could become the first challenger to defeat an incumbent president in the Islamic Republic’s 30-year history.

There are no reliable opinion polls in Iran, but Mr Mousavi has visibly gained momentum in recent days and his exuberant supporters have flooded on to the streets of Tehran in huge numbers. The usual restrictions on dissent have been largely swept aside as the regime has loosened — or lost — its grip ahead of the election.

The election has also exposed the deep divide within Iranian society. Mr Mousavi’s candidacy has galvanised the urban middle-classes, and he also has the support of Mohammed Khatami, the popular reformist President from 1997 to 2005, and Hojatoleslam Rafsanjani, who was defeated by Mr Ahmadinejad in the presidential election of 2005.

Mr Ahmadinejad enjoys strong support among the rural poor and religiously devout, and is thought to have the backing of the Supreme Leader as well as the Revolutionary Guards and the volunteer Basij militia.

Rightly or wrongly, they adore this man who presents himself as the champion of the oppressed, the scourge of Iran’s corrupt elite with its loose morals, a leader who has stood up to the bullying West and restored their country’s pride. Even though the rampant inflation and chronic unemployment have made their lot much worse; he is their man.


New replacement for Bongo

June 10, 2009
Senate Head, Rose Francine Rogombe, sworn in as interim President

Senate Head, Rose Francine Rogombe, sworn in as interim President

 

Rose Francine Rogombe was sworn in as Gabon’s interim president on today, the first step in the process of replacing President Omar Bongo, Africa’s longest-serving head of state, who died earlier this week.

Bongo’s death left a power vacuum at the head of the central African nation that he tightly controlled for over four decades and, with a well-developed oil industry and a Eurobond, investors are watching carefully for signs of trouble. After a series of coups elsewhere in Africa over the last year, some had feared Bongo’s death would spark instability.

But analysts have said that the president’s ruling party was likely to tightly manage the transition and doubted popular unrest. According to Gabon’s constitution, Rogombe, a lawyer by training who was head of the Senate when Bongo died, will have 45 days to hold elections to select a new head of state.

“I swear to devote all my efforts to looking after the Gabonese people … to respect and defend the constitution and the rule of law and to conscientiously carry out my job by being fair to all,” Rogombe said, one hand on Gabon’s constitution. Rogombe’s time in power as interim leader can be extended in case of force majeur, said Marie Madeleine Mborantsouo, who swore in the new president on Wednesday in her position as head of the Constitutional Court.

Bongo’s has been praised by some for maintaining stability in his own country and contributing to African peace efforts. But the last months of his life were equally overshadowed by investigations by a French judge into how much money he and his family allegedly stole from the state coffers during his time in power, which has left most ordinary people mired in poverty.


41 Bodies Recovered From Air France 447 Crash

June 10, 2009

Military Personnel evacuate Casualties from the air france crash

Military Personnel evacuate Casualties from the air france crash

 

Sixteen bodies pulled from the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday were taken to Fernando de Noronha for transportation Wednesday afternoon by helicopter to the air base in Recife, Brazil.

The 25 bodies previously found were put aboard a Brazilian frigate.

Searches for the remaining bodies will continue overnight, the navy and aeronautical command said in a written statement.

The Airbus A330 crashed in the Atlantic Ocean June 1 en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France, carrying 228 passengers and crew.

The first bodies were recovered about 320 kilometers (200 miles) northwest of the Brazilian archipelago of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; Tuesday’s recoveries were 80 kilometers (50 miles) away. It was not clear whether the bodies had drifted in the 1-2 knot currents or whether their separation suggested that the jet may have broken apart in the air.

Meanwhile, the French, who are leading the investigation, were increasing their naval efforts. The nuclear submarine Emeraude was expected to reach the search area Wednesday to search for wreckage, including the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. And the French sent two tugs towing 40 tons of recovery equipment, a surveillance ship and a ship equipped for amphibious operations.

The United States is also sending equipment to help with the search.


Africa Swine Flu discovered in Nigeria

June 10, 2009

 

   

The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed the report that African Swine Flu has been discovered in a certain part of Delta state.

The Ministry, in a report by the special assistant on communication to the minister of health,Niyi Ojuolape, said the presence of the disease has been confirmed after consultation with the Delta State Ministries of Health and Agriculture.

The ministry, however, said that African Swine Fever (ASF) affects only pigs and that it does not affect humans in any way. It stated also that it is not in any way related to the a(h1n1) influenza, otherwise known as swine fever, which has been ravaging the health world.

Mr Ojuolape,however, assured the public that the case of Swine Flu has not been reported in Nigeria and that the government is doing a lot to monitor the events with a view to handling any eventuality effectively.

Also, the Delta State Ministry of Agriculture has quarantined the affected piggery and has started culling the affected pigs to prevent the disease from spreading to other pigs.

African Swine Fever (ASF) is however, a highly contagious, generalized disease of pigs caused by an iridovirus that exhibits varying virulence between strains, although different serotypes cannot be identified.

Experts say that the virus resists inactivation and can persist in meat up to 15 weeks, processed hams up to six months and up to one month in contaminated pens. It is endemic in most of Southern Africa, and on the Iberian peninsula of Europe. Since the 1960s, outbreaks have occurred in France, Italy, Malta, Belgium,Holland, Cuba, Domican Republic and Haiti.

Treatment and vaccine have not been discovered till date. The United States,the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibit the importation of live hogs and uncooked pork from any country where ASF exists, except if the products are commercially canned,hermetically sealed, and fully sterilized so it remains shelf stable without refrigeration; and the processes used have been proven to inactivate the virus.